And In Canada, Will They Fight?

Will the people of Canada waken from their somnolent stupor and give chase to Barbara Hall and her bureaucratic idiocy that threatens Canadians underappreciated freedoms? Doubtful. But the media may try to stir them...

Montreal Gazette:
...a preposterous suggestion that every publication in the country, including "media services" websites, be required by law to belong to a national press council that could adjudicate breaches of professional standards and complaints of discrimination. Chillingly, the council would have the power to order offending media to publish its findings, along with counterarguments from complainants. And in a bit of verbal legerdemain that would make Big Brother wince, the commission claimed that this would not constitute censorship.

The most frightening thing about this bit of nonsense is that it's hard to see what possible reason the commission has for proposing such a draconian measure. Scan Canadian media from, say, This Magazine on the left to blogger Ezra Levant on the right, and you'd be hard-pressed to find anything that pushes the boundaries of reasonable discourse...

...Commissioner Hall also claims that the media have a responsibility to "engage in fair and unbiased journalism." Those are certainly ideals The Gazette and most other Canadian publications strive to achieve, with admittedly imperfect success. But that responsibility, like membership in the Quebec Press Council, is voluntary. If someone wants to start a rabidly partisan, scurrilous scandal sheet, that's fine with us, too. State-compelled norms of behaviour are censorship, not idealism.

The underlying problem here might be that liberty has once again run into one of its most formidable foes - the bureaucratic mind. Such minds recoil at the unruliness of the media - among other things - and won't rest until all participants in public discourse are fully regulated by government. They do all this "for the common good," of course.

But when they succeed, we can all kiss our precious freedoms goodbye.

(h/t Dr. Roy)

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